Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Olympus to Makapuu

Man Friday rendition of Olympus-Makapuu trample

On Saturday June 23rd Man Friday had the honor and privilege to
participate in the HTMC Super hike XIII. Although Man Friday had
previously notified the HTMC of his plans to take the summer off to
spend QT with his soon to be 7 year old son, the lure of this adventure
was just too much to pass up. What sewed it up was a chance encounter
with HTMC super super hiker Richard Fernandez. Man Friday had coached
his son (the maya prince) up the Tom-tom trail and while resting at the
summit Richard came trampling by and invited Man Friday to participate
in XIII. Man Friday has difficulty in turning down almost any request
initiated from HTMC or the members so an email was dispatched to Dayle
Turner, (hike coordinator) requesting his name be added to the roster.

The Hike:

A most gracious offer was extended to Man Friday for transport to the hike
rendezvous by Dayle alias (Koolau bear). Man Friday was touched by the
HTMC VP's offer but declined as he believed he would need to jog the 3
miles to the Makapuu lookout to get warmed up for the hike. As it turned
out Man Friday was intercepted en route Saturday morning by HTMC
corresponding sexy Ralph Valentino. Man Friday's comment to Ralph after
accepting transport was, "cant a guy get a little work out in before going
for a stroll on the Koolaus?". Thus after only 2 miles of jogging with a
25lb pack, Man Friday was whisked away to the rendezvous spot.

Familiar faces were present at the lookout. Ralph and Justin would offer
transport to St. Louis heights. Super super hikers Dave Waller and
Richard Fernandez arrived, as did Dayle, Thea and Mr. Hiroshi Sakae. Mr.
Sakae would prove at the end of the day that running marathons is a good
training aid to hiking the Koolaus! That was it, 6 members to attempt
the trample and Dayle mentioning 5 members dropping out (no names given).
Man Friday was a little disappointed in the attrition and was even hoping
for a surprise arrival from Paka, to no avail. No doubt Steve Browns
wedding had an effect on actual hiker numbers, nonetheless we all wish
him and his new wife well.

Dayle gave the hikers a brief synopsis of what was to be expected along
the trail and throughout the day. Mr. Sakae's eyebrows raised on hearing
we would be on the trail between 9 and 10 hours. Man Friday was also
miffed as to the amount of time it would require to complete the traverse.
Nonetheless the hikers seemed in good spirits and game for the challenge
ahead of them.

During the transport to the trailhead Man Friday overheard Justin
conversing with Thea as to his dislike of the Waahila trail. Justin
pointed out the trail can be very slippery at times, with all the rocks
and boulders one must negotiate. How prophetic his words would be.

The group arrived at the park and final farewells and thank yous were
exchanged. Dayle gave final instructions and noted that water caches were
in place on the summit. The group was advised to drink plenty of liquid
during the hike. At 7:47am the hikers began their long day hike.

Man Friday immediately assumed the lead position and set the pace. Dayle
informed the group it would be nice to make the summit by 9:00 am and Man
Friday accepted the day's first small challenge. Also prior experience
with LONG day hikes has given Man Friday important knowledge as to what
can and cannot be done with the body. As the saying goes, "man's got to
know his limitations". Man Friday had no intention of spending 10 hours
on the trail, he would either complete the hike in timely fashion or crash
and burn! Accessing the other hiker capabilities Man Friday felt
confident the hike was doable in less than 9 hours. A steady pace with a
slight "hurry up attitude" would no doubt get the group to Makapuu lookout
before 5:00pm. No complaints were signaled by Dayle as to the pace being
set, although he did say, "Hope we can keep it up the whole day!"

On the way up the Waahila trail Dayle entertained the group with a story
from the past of a couple of hikers he came along enthralled in the height
of lust directly on the trail! He pointed out the exact spot on the
trail, and everyone got a chuckle out of the story and the mood was set
for the remainder of the hike. Man Friday had to admire the hike
coordinator's timing at telling the tale, as it could not have come at a
better time. The group was off and hiking at a good clip, the day would
be long and difficult at times, but Dayle's tale put everything into
perspective, this adventure above all would be fun, enjoyable,
challenging to be sure, but an outright good experience. And indeed we
did have fun and all enjoyed the adventure regardless of the pain and
fatigue we all endured!

Once the group reached the junction towards the summit Man Friday stepped
up the pace. Super hikers Richard and Dave where a few minutes behind,
Mr. Sakae, Dayle and Thea brought up the rear guard. As Man Friday
negotiated a descent off the top of a boulder his right foot slipped out
from underneath him and crashing down he went. His right forearm absorbed
the full weight of his body and 25lb pack. It was a painful fall and Man
Friday began seeing stars but his feet kept moving he was too embarrassed
to slow down. Man Friday quickly recovered and kept moving up the trail
even though the pain from his arm was acute! A contusion was beginning to
appear on the forearm but Man Friday focused his thoughts on the trail
and pace being set. He also recalled Justin's conversation with Thea, and
thought to himself, Justin was right! For the remainder of the ascent to
Olympus Man Friday would have to shrug off the pain and numbness in his
right forearm.

Man Friday continued to push hard and finally stopped for a water break at
the flat spot just before the final step ascent to the summit. Liquid
replenishment was gladly slurped down and gators were donned as the
vegetation was beginning to be noticeable to the bare legs. The others
arrived within a couple of minutes and all gratefully hydrated at the
break spot. Dayle mentioned the group should probably eat and drink while
on the move, at which the others just laughed. Super hiker Richard took
the lead and powered the group up the 1/8 of a mile or so to the summit.
Before taking the ramrod Richard asked Man Friday, "Why are you hiking so
fast?". At which Man Friday replied, "Dayle said he wanted us on the
summit by 9:00 am!" Well the group made the summit around 9:00am in
about 1 hour and 15 minutes. That was the easy part now the real hike
would begin.

With the initial pace set Man Friday took the ramrod again and had full
intention on keeping it up. The other hikers expressed no complaints as
Man Friday blazed through the vegetation opening up the previous swath.
Man Friday was surprised that Dayle had not assumed the ramrod slot.
Dayle usually enjoys plowing his way through vegetation and more
challenging terrain. But as hike coordinator perhaps he felt that a
middle or near sweep position was more appropriate today, he never led on.

Between Olympus and Kaau was overgrown but fortunately not muddy. Man
Friday maintained a steady pace and was thanked by gatorless Richard (who
wore shorts) for the good job he was doing opening up the swath. As the
group approached more open terrain Richard would grab the ramrod and
charge every Puu on route. Upon approaching the hill or knoll he would
cry out, "banzai", or "attack". The super hiker would then charge up the
hill like a man possessed and leave the rest of the group 10 to 15 yards
behind. In the spirit of things the group also "attacked" the puus and
laughter broke out over Richard's antics. The laughter would soon turn to
panting as lungs gasped for oxygen on the difficult ascents. Upon
reaching the apexes Richard would take a short break and Man Friday would
pass by and continue the pace. Soon all hikers would be taking breaks at
the top of almost every puu conquered!!

The group basically stayed together throughout the day with Man Friday and
Richard swapping the ramrod. Richard giving way to the more vegetated
areas and often times expressing his desires to napalm or agent orange
all vegetation on all trails! Thea pulled up the rear the entire morning
and Man Friday began to wonder if she was all right. Actually she had the
best strategy of all the hikers: let the men create a nice swath so her
hike experience could be less taxing and more enjoyable. She changed her
strategy after lunch and stayed tight with the pack the remainder of the
day, one strong wahine that hiker. Thea is probably the strongest wahine
hiker in the entire club if not one of the strongest hikers period! Hats
off to her for her endurance and determination to chalk up another super
hike.

We decided to lunch at Kuliouou West summit about 11:55 am? Strategy was
discussed as all were looking forward to completing the hike by 4:00pm?
That would still give the group time to crash Steve Brown's wedding
reception! As it was the group was 40 minutes ahead of schedule. It
should be noted the weather was most agreeable on this day, with high
cloud cover (no sun) and breezy sometimes-blustery trade winds. Dayle
said it was possible to make an out by 4:00pm but doubtful as after 6
hours the body would certainly make it known whether another 2 to 3 hours
was available. Dayle also mentioned we should all be thankful for the
weather up to this point, as no doubt the Tom-Tom stretch to Makapuu
would certainly be cloudless!

Lunch break concluded at approximately 12:25 with Richard charging off
into the lead and Man Friday picking up the rear. Richard carried the
pace the short distance to Kuliouou where two caches of liquid where
retrieved. The group did not linger in the area long as the strong gust
of wind pelted the hikers with sand from the well-eroded area. The
Kuliouou area from middle ridge to the lookout is predominantly eroded and
when the trades are blowing HARD the poor hiker feels as if he/she is
being sandblasted on the way through. Thank goodness Richard maintained
the hurried up pace through the area as more than a few hikers were seen
rubbing the sand out of their eyes!

Between Kuliouou and Mariners Ridge can become confusing at times.
Special mahalos to Justin for laying out markers at key points to help the
group stay on the wind/sand swept trail. Once past the Kuliouou sand
blasting the group's pace began to fall off due to fatigue. For the next
40 minutes or so the lead was exchanged as all up front basically lost the
trail and were forced to the rear of the pack as a sort of penalty.

Man Friday eventually took the ramrod minutes before reaching Mariners
ridge and attempted to pick up the pace on the final ascent to the
terminus. The group was very tight as all made the final hard climb to
the terminus within a few minutes of each other. The trekkers gladly took
a liquid break and Dayle continue southeast along the trail to retrieve
his water cache just past the ironwoods. Man Friday offered MO-JO to the
entire group, at which Richard said, "I'll take anything right now if it
will get me to the end of the hike." All but Dave and Dayle sampled the
mo-jo supplement. Before heading down the trail Dayle informed the group
they were 50 minutes ahead of schedule. Hearing the good news the group
unconsciously extended the break a little longer than necessary as no one
was making a move to continue. During the break Richard asked, "Where is
Dayle and how come he has not come back?" Man Friday broke out into
laughter at hearing the question and responded, "A seasoned KST veteran
such as Dayle will never hike the same ground twice in one day."
Everyone laughed at the comment but still no one made a motion to
continue the hike. During the break Mr. Sakae informed Man Friday he was
getting tired and this hike was too long. Man Friday informed him he
believed they were only about 3 hours away from the autos.

Dave saddled up as if intending to continue and with that signal all the
trekkers jumped to their feet and headed on down the trail. Dayle was
overtaken within a few minutes as he was in the process of replenishing
his water reserves from his cache. Man Friday told Dayle about Richard's
question at break at which he laughed and said, "You don't hike the same
ground twice." Another round of laughter to lift the spirits of the
weary group, and they would need it soon as the sun was just about
finished baking off the remaining cloud cover.

Man Friday led the charge down the Puu and began the ascent on the next
rise. During the ascent his left quadricep began to spasm/contract, a
sign of dehydration! Man Friday's pace dropped off considerably and at
the next ascent informed Dayle and Thea of his condition. Dayle
mentioned he was getting leg muscle spasms as well and Richard was no
longer charging the Puus. Fatigue and dehydration was beginning to set
in plus as Dayle predicted this stretch of the hike would put the
trekkers under the hot sun's microscope, indeed they were.

The group took a break just before the cable descent to Tom-Tom. Man
Friday downed a litre of water and consumed a protein bar. Mr. Sakae
lay sprawled out as if he was taking a suntan or a nap! What a
sandbagger, he would turn out to be the strongest finisher! Dave did not
say much; never does but man can the super hiker hike. It does not matter
how fast you go or how hard you hike, if you hike with Dave he is always
like a shadow. You turn around and he is always there. Truly a super
hiker and gentlemen as Man Friday has never heard him utter one complaint.
Super hikes were invented for guys like this.

As we sat in the shade of the iron woods bogus thoughts entered Man
Friday's mind to sneak down Tom-Tom and return to the comforts of his cell
at the HTMC clubhouse. Man Friday expressed this desire to Thea, who
jokingly agreed to the plan. On hearing of the wimpy bail out plan Dayle
chimed in and said, "Yes an out at Tom-Tom would make it a good day, but
one would miss out on the accomplishment of completing THIS HIKE." Upon
hearing Dayle's rebuke to Man Friday, Richard arose and gingerly began the
cable section descent.

Downhill and level section hiking had little effect on the muscle spasms
Man Friday was experiencing but the rugged up hill climbs were outright
painful. Nonetheless on reaching Tom-Tom Man Friday took the lead and
powered the trekkers to the next rise. The ascent is not that steep but
after 6 hours of solid hiking and the hot sun beating down on one's head
it felt like hiking the steepest part of the Haiku stairs! Upon
completing the ascent Man Friday collapsed in the ironwood grove and all
other hikers took a break as well. When Dayle arrived he said, "I
thought we were going to take our next break at the next ironwoods?" No
one else complained about taking another break so soon at which Richard
offered Man Friday a gatorade and gratefully gulped down! The soft iron
wood needles felt good to lay in but indeed the group had to get a move
on. Dayle made the motion to continue and the group stayed tight up to
the Nike station. Once at the Nike station wimpy thoughts were expressed
to take the road all the way out, but dismissed without prejudice!

Once past the Nike station Man Friday was determined not to take another
break until the group reached the Makapuu lookout. With Richard again
taking the lead the group moved towards its goal at a more subdued pace.
After making another difficult ascent to an unknown/named Puu Richard and
company took another H2O break. Man Friday continued southeast and began
the last major descent. Almost to the bottom of the descent and with no
one in site Man Friday began to worry if something had gone wrong with the
group. Man Friday halted and was able to make radio contact with Dayle,
who informed him all was ok and that the trekkers where indeed just
resting. Good news.

After conversing with Dayle Man Friday picked up his pace and continued
towards the lookout. The sun was hot, but the brisk trade winds made it
bearable, as the final section of the trek is much like a desert. Not
only does the hiker have to deal with the hot sun, but the actual ground
and boulders also emit heat and the body begins to burn up if liquid
consumption is neglected.

The final ascent was quite laborious for Man Friday as the spasms
manifested once again. On the way up Man Friday turned northwest and
observed the group of trekkers heading his way in good form. Mr. Sakae,
Dave and Thea all heading his way and no doubt if they could maintain
their pace would meet up with Man Friday for the final walk down the
Pali. Mr. Sakae was actually scorching the trail and Man Friday figured
he would overpass him by the time he reached the Puu with the three
poles.

On reaching the Puu with the 3 poles Man Friday took a much needed water
break. He drank another litre of water and consumed the remainder of a
protein bar. While resting on a warm boulder with his thigh pressed tight
against it to keep his leg warm, Man Friday waited for the arrival of Mr.
Sakae. Within minutes the mighty marathoner arrived, sat down and drank
some of his own H2O. Man Friday was amazed at Mr. Sakae, the guy looked
like he was not sweating, as a matter of fact the guy looked like he just
started the hike! Man Friday challenged Mr. Sakae to make an out by
4:30pm. Mr. Sakae responded, "4:45". Man Friday radioed Dayle and told
him that him and Mr. Sakae would be attempting to out at 4:30 and off they
went.

Mr. Sakae set a brisk pace with Man Friday close behind. Funny when
confronted with a challenge all thoughts of the leg spasms and forearm
contusion dissolved from Man Fridays mind, interesting. At 4:19 Man Friday
informed Mr. Sakae they had 11 minutes to make their goal. On hearing the
news Mr. Sakae broke out into a jog/run. Man Friday stayed in hot pursuit
and the two trekkers blasted down the rocky trail with Man Friday calling
out time left and advising on appropriate descent route. At 4:24pm Mr.
Sakae reached Kam highway with Man Friday a few seconds behind. They both
crossed the road together and shook hands by the automobiles at Makapuu
lookout.

Dave and Thea arrived within 10 minutes and Dayle was a few minutes behind
them. Mr. Sakae inquired into the whereabouts of Richard and Dayle
informed the group he was right behind but having foot difficulties.
Within a few minutes Richard came into view limping down the final descent
supported by a kiawe branch! He joined the group at the rendezvous spot
at 4:40pm. All trekkers congratulated each other and all where happy to
have completed the hike under schedule by 1 hour and 20 minutes!

In conclusion Man Friday would like to thank Dayle Turner for his
organizational skill and creative genius in coming up with new and
adventurous hikes which push the limits of the HTMCers. Special thanks to
Richard "banzai" Fernandez for requesting Man Friday's participation in
the event and for his gung ho attitude through out the hike. Thanks also
to iron man Dave, Thea and Mr. Sakae for being part of a team that
motivated and supported each other to complete the trek and make it
enjoyable. Special thanks to God the almighty for allowing us to partake
and enjoy his creation and for giving us the spirit and heart to complete
the adventure safely.

Man Friday

Saturday, June 23, 2001

Olympus to Makapuu

Five of us did the club hike today.  Hike start time: 7:40 a.m. at Waahila
trailhead. Hike end time: 4:40 p.m. at Makapuu Lookout--9 hours on the
trail. It was an ideal day for this hike, with a cloudless summit all the
way, high clouds to block the sun, and brisk trades to keep us cool. God
was smiling upon us.

The hike up Waahila was uneventful and we summited at 9:00. We were then
eastbound on the crest, passing a parade of summits--Kaau Crater, Lanipo,
Waialae Nui, Wiliwilinui, Wailupe, Hawaii Loa, Kulepeamoa, and then
Kuliouou West. The trail along the summit was generally good, especially
the segments the club hikes and maintains. The most brushy sections were
between Olympus and Kaau and between Kulepeamoa and K-West. We reached
the latter at noon and ate lunch there. I made walkie-talkie contact
with Ken Suzuki, who was leading a hike for the Nature Center in
Maunawili.

I had suggested that folks leave water caches at either Kuliouou or
Mariner's Ridge, and three of us did just that, so we ended up with close
to 4 supplemental gallons to replenish our H20 supplies along the way.
And this water proved very helpful to us, especially as the long day wore
on.

To my surprise, the only other hikers we saw on this beautiful day were
some folks at a distance heading down the Kuliouou state trail.
Otherwise, we saw no one else during the hike.

The hikers: Hiroshi Sakae, Man Friday (who didn't want his real name
used), Dave Waller, Richard Fernandez, Dayle Turner.

Comments: Five folks, for various reasons, had to withdraw prior to
today's hike. I hope they, and other interested hikers, organize
a group to complete this hike someday. To me, the hike, in a much lesser
degree, is akin to thru-hiking the Appalachian or Pacific Crest Trails.
Hiking it section by section is an accomplishment, but hiking it in one
shot is a tough but doable challenge. I'll gladly offer information and
logistical support for anyone who gives this a shot, just don't ask me to
do it with you. One time is enough. :-) One pitfall of today's hike is
that it finished at a time that would not allow any of us to attend the
wedding of HTMC folks Steve Brown and Lin Black. Congratulations and best
wishes to them nonetheless.

Kudos: Ralph Valentino and Justin Ohara for shuttling us to Waahila in the
morning. Kirby Young, whose excellent OHE write-up of this hike helped
provide a frame of reference for us. The HTMC trail crew, for all the
work done on sections of trail along the summit. Dick Cowan, for the
solid cable on the cliff section just before TomTom. Much mahalo to these
folks.

For those who want to take a look, Kirby's write-up is at

http://www.geocities.com/oheposts/5-25c.html

Go HTMC!

--dkt

Sunday, June 10, 2001

Malaekahana ridge, Koolau summit trail, Kahuku trail

A bunch of us did a big loop today.  The whole thing had to be at least 12
miles; some think it could have been as much as 15. Whatever it was, we
all had a sweaty, muddy workout. Ken Suzuki even said the plants along
the Kahuku Trail are better compared to sister ridges, Laie and
Malaekahana. So go now, plant lovers!

The hike started at the Laie ballpark on Poohaili Street. The first phase
was a romp along a dirt road that passed the Laie trailhead and crossed a
(dry) stream. There are several side roads on the left and right
leading to farms. One concern along this stretch is harassment by
dogs. A couple barked and growled as we went by in the a.m. but no dog
hassles took place in the p.m., at least when I went by.

Not long after the stream crossing, we headed mauka on another dirt road.
This road eventually becomes eroded and rutted and then transitions
into the Malaekahana Trail, which we headed up. About an hour from the
cars, we passed the junction with the trail heading down to Malaekahana
Stream and continued mauka up the ridge. The trail beyond the junction
was overgrown but still passable.

Eventually, the ridge trail angles left, goes over several humps, and
arrives at a junction at a low saddle, now very well ribboned. This is
about 2 to 3 hours from the cars, depending how fast one goes. It was
there we left the ridge trail (heading right) to begin a segment we
called "The Shortcut to the KST," a longtime brain-child of Bill Gorst.
This route drops down to a little stream, passes some paperbark trees,
winds around some low ridges and ravines, crosses little streams at least
twice more, and eventually gains the summit trail about a half mile (as
the mynah flies) north of the KST/Malaekahana junction. It takes about
half an hour.

Once on the KST, our loop headed right (north) toward the Pupukea summit
hilltop, where the terminus of the Kahuku trail resides. The KST segment
was muddy in many places (to be expected) and about 2/3rds was
well-cleared. Count on at least an hour to get this part done.

At the base of the Pupukea summit hilltop is a signed junction. Today's
correct choice was to head up to the right (heading straight ahead would
take one around the hilltop and on to Pupukea). Near the top of the hill
was another signed junction. This is where the Kahuku trail begins/ends.

Getting back to the cars from this location will take approx 3-4
hours. We did it by heading down the Kahuku trail, which is a typical
uluhe-ohia ridge higher up. This part is very obvious and marked well.
After the uluhe abates, the trail transitions into the guava zone. The
corridor thru the guava is generally distinct and well-marked when the way
becomes less clear. After the guava zone, the trail becomes drier, more
eroded, and populated by vegetation like ironwoods, some pines, and
christmas berry, with some guava thrown in to keep things from
getting too easy/pleasant.

About 90 minutes from the summit, there is a junction with what appears to
be an old jeep road. We went right at that point, leaving the Kahuku
trail, which continues straight down the ridge, very broad at
this point. The old road arrives at another junction in a forest of
ironwoods. The correct way at that point is to head right to begin
descending to Malaekahana Stream. Ribbons mark the way, which eventually
gets steep and proceeds down a swath thru uluhe, then a large eroded
patch, and then puts one in the side fork of the (dry) stream. The side
fork quickly leads to a junction with the main (babbling) stream. At that
point, there is ribboned trail that gets the old ticker a-pumping by
climbing steeply to the ridgetop of the south side of Malaekahana Stream.

Once the ridgetop is gained, the trail heads mauka for a short spell, then
swings to the left thru a forest of guava and ironwoods. This area is well
marked. The trail reaches a barbed-wire fenceline, which is followed for
a bit and then ducked under at a ribboned point. A road covered
with horse manure heads makai to mauka (head makai). Heading as such will
lead to a large antenna tower. Near the tower is an indistinct (but
ribboned well today) path that heads to the right. This path leads to a
gate and the start/end of a dirt road. Go thru the gate (make sure to
secure the gate with the attached rope) and proceed down the road.

This road will lead to a junction with the dirt road leading to
Malaekahana that was walked on earlier. The conclusion of the hike is the
dirt road amble back to the Laie ballpark.

Some notes about today's hike:

Several folks ran out of water en route. This is at least a three-liter
hike, especially in the summer months.

Walkie-talkies were useful in helping us keep track of who was where. For
those who don't have a walkie-talkie, consider purchasing one (you
listening, Wing?).

After the hike, Mabel was presented with the donated monies to help her
with the sizable towing fee she had to pay after the Schofield/East Range
mishap. Much thanks to all who contributed to the fund.

Roll-call: Mabel Kekina, Bill Gorst, Connie & Gordon Muschek, Jay Feldman,
Nathan Yuen, Peter Kempf, Pat Enomoto, Jim Wilburn, Art Isbell, Laura
Owens, Thea Ferentinos, Karen Hashimoto, Mike Lindstrom, Deetsie Chave,
Ken Suzuki, Carole K. Moon, June Miyasato, Ralph Valentino, Steve Becker,
Lynne Masuyama, Mike Algiers, Dayle Turner.

Next week Sunday's TM: Pauoa Woods. Meet at 8 a.m. up on Tantalus near
the ewa point of the the Manoa Cliff Trail (nka Kalawahine Trail).

--dkt